Sunday, November 22, 2015

Seat of the Muse

You cannot get lost at a museum.  Walking around as the paintings draw their gaze to your face and away from you, you're more likely to be found.  If you're lost in the artist's cathedral it's because you were before you entered.  A museum will show you where you are, it will bring things out in you that you weren't aware were there.  I'm not talking about a field trip with friends or a family vacation with relatives.  A solitary visit to the talking halls will open you up to where you've been.

I recently meandered the hallways of old warehouses converted into artists' studios set up for public viewing.  The views were quite spectacular; the conversations sometimes came easy, but I found myself missing you.  That has happened a lot lately.  I want to tell you that I love you but I'm not sure if I do.  I want to tell you that I feel something but I'm not sure how you'll react.  I want to know how it will be but these things are painted with uncertainty.

I feel so at ease talking with you.  I want to continue.  As I'm driving down these weathered and worn streets I find my mind turning to the passenger seat and wishing your hand was there in mine.  I'm wishing for the slight gentle touch of another, but not just anyone.  These imitations don't do it for me; I'm just creating an interference in all of our empty signals.  You don't know what you mean to me.  We've gotten to a place where I can speak of your external beauty, but what I mean to say stays inside me; it's inside you.  It's something I don't know how to describe.  Usually the inward beauty comes from a different place but your intellectual skepticism soothes me.  The problem is that it also scares me.

I don't want to be serenaded off to the gates of Hell.  Are you a siren lulling my heart to a treacherous shore?  My soul found an olive branch in this coral reef and I don't want to let go.  The people I don't know tell me not to go.  The people who claim to know me don't seem to react precisely as I anticipated and so your siren song seems all the more pleasing to the ears of my heart.  I write words in my journal that I wish your ears could hear.  I fill once empty pages with musings of what this alleged love tastes like.  I don't know how to tell you because I don't know how you feel but I don't know because I don't tell you.  I'm afraid.

I'm afraid that your heart will fly further.  Your presence continues to escape me.  If I told you what I felt but that I'm not sure about how I felt, what could we do?  I'm frightened that you'll leave me before we even have a chance to enter into each other's lives.  I'm anxious that you'll tell me not now because your life is papers and faraway places.  You don't have time for love, you can't be tied down, but that's not what I want.  It is not my desire to bind you with ropes and chains to any one place.  No, some of that is the very reason that I've found myself falling for you over these last several months.

So what would really change?  Not much really.  Maybe we would just talk with more intentionality.  Maybe you would just know more truly how I feel and we wouldn't have to fish for answers about what the other is feeling.  Yes, perhaps it might involve making a more concerted effort to actually see each other soon but that's okay, right?  We're both swimming in this lonely fish bowl.  We're both lost at sea.  I don't have this life all figured out and I think you would say the same.  To be honest, I don't want to worship you and I don't think you would like that either.  I just want to live life alongside you.  You intrigue me.  You keep me guessing.

You're such a profound thinker.  It sometimes seems as if everything you say gets me thinking more and it's not the kind of thinking that sets me off on a runaway train either.  You just take me to worlds I never thought I would go.  Perhaps you're not a siren serenading me into rocky shores, but an explorer looking for a companion to accompany you on a lifelong journey full of new discoveries.  I don't want the monotony of this life.  I don't want the same potholes deflating my tires.  I don't want the same faces always telling me how I ought to live my life.  I know that living as an independent celestial body orbiting others won't work either; there must be a healthy amount of accountability.

Something inside you pulls me closer even as you travel further.  I don't want it to just be absence-induced affection, though sometimes it feels like that's all that it is.  Nor do I wish for you to be a mere comfort in the dark, though these last few months the sun has often refused to shine.  Nevertheless, I remember times with you and how something was lifted even when you were with me.  Even when I didn't know what to say, there seemed to be something there.  When other silence fills me with anxiety and uncertainty, your silence somehow keeps me wanting more.  More of what you are.  More of who you've been.  More of where you're going.  And more of where you'll take me.

I wander the once empty warehouses and find myself again.  I find you in every landscape.  Every portrait is you singing poetry with me.  I wonder what you'd think and where your mind would be.  I think that you'd be so pleased, you'd be in your element.  You're not a looker or a gawker but a gazer. You've changed something in me and I want it to keep evolving.  I don't want to leave my chrysalis because I fear the fire might be awaiting me, but I'd rather live a full life than spend my waking hours sleeping.

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